lots of good answers guys but my OP was asking
alan... wrote:as small as you can get it but have it still be a complete path that someone could follow without anything else.
i'm looking for something that is condensed AND complete. just a phrase or a single very short sutta is not enough for someone to use alone with no other help or knowledge. like perhaps a single book on buddhism or something. a good example is some stuff by or compilations of mahasi sayadaw's stuff. if you took all of his writings and others who wrote under him and put it in one big book it would be a complete path but very condensed compared to the tipitaka. that's just an example, and may not even be a good or accurate one but it's the general idea. or some may say a certain long sutta may be the complete training, such as "the expanding decades" or another like that, and again, that sutta is just an example and probably a bad one, just a general idea. something that is VERY inclusive and could theoretically lead one from step one to the end.
also david's suggestion of the anguttara nikaya is a perfect example of what i'm talking about.
to those of you who posted single suttas or small amounts of text, if you really think these could be complete stand alone trainings that would need nothing else to guide someone could you elaborate how?